LAW – LEGAL – BARRISTER – MEDIATION – ARBITRATION

 

 

Portsmouth Barristers’ Chambers

Andrew Parsons FCIArb

Barrister – Mediator – Arbitrator

 

Business & Commerce • Family Finance • Finance

Personal Injury • Professional Negligence • Property

 

 

Introduction

 

This is a deliberately simple website.

 

It tries to use plain English to make it easier to understand.

 

It tries to give brief details of the professional legal services provided by Andrew Parsons.

 

If you have any queries, please contact his Senior Clerk & Executive Manager Jackie Morrison. Tel: 023 9283 1292. Email: jm@portsmouthbar.com

 

 

Background

 

Andrew Parsons is an experienced barrister, mediator and arbitrator. He founded the Portsmouth Barristers’ Chambers in 1990. Prior to practising at the Bar he worked as a money and corporate finance broker in the City of London. He has a purely civil practice. He has for many years been committed to the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes such as mediation as a more sensible and civilised way to resolve disputes. He sits on the ADR Committee of the Bar Council and on the Committee of the Southern Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

 

 

Qualifications

 

LLB (Hons) (London)

Called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, 1985

Accredited Commercial Mediator, 1998

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 2000

 

 

Areas of Expertise

 

(Listed with brief details in alphabetical order)

 

Ø      Business & Commerce: agency • building & construction • carriage of goods by road – CMR work • carriage of goods by sea – shipping “dry” work, especially cases concerning containers • company, especially share sale & purchase agreements & disputes between directors & shareholders • commercial contracts • franchises • intellectual property, especially confidentiality, copyright, database right, design right & passing off • undue influence • joint ventures • partnership.

 

Ø      Family Finance: especially more complex &/or higher value ancillary relief & cohabitee cases involving companies, partnerships, pensions and trusts. He has acted in a number of high value “celebrity” cases.

 

Ø      Finance: banking • broking • consumer credit • financial services • guarantees & indemnities • insolvency • loans • lease purchase • mortgages • pensions.

 

Ø      Personal Injury: especially more complex &/or higher value cases involving points of principle, significant alleged loss of income, profits or pension benefits & provisional damages. He is on the panels of a number of Insurers.

 

Ø      Professional Negligence: especially cases concerning accountants, administrators, agents, architects, auditors, brokers, doctors financial advisers, liquidators, receivers, solicitors & surveyors. He has been recommended as a leading barrister in the field of professional negligence in a number of publications, including The Lawyer. He was on the former SIF panel.

 

Ø      Property: boundaries • development • easements, including rights of way and rights to light • estate agents’ commissions • constructive trusts • Inheritance Act • options to purchase • party walls • property sale & purchase, especially cases involving alleged misrepresentations by sellers • proprietary estoppel • Trusts of Land & Appointment of Trustees Act.

 

In real life, cases do not fit into neat categories. Nor do the means of resolving them. A key advantage to instructing Andrew is that he is versatile, having experience and expertise in overlapping categories of work, not only in litigation but also in mediation and arbitration.

 

 

Notable Cases: Andrew has been involved in a number of notable cases. Some examples, where appropriate with details changed to preserve confidentiality, are shown below.

 

Ø      BYRNE v HALL PAIN & FOSTER & OTHERS [1999] 2 All ER 400 (Court of Appeal) – Advised and represented the defendant surveyors at trial, on appeal before the High Court and then on second appeal before the Court of Appeal in what remains the leading case concerning when the limitation period begins to run in respect of a claim by a house purchaser against an allegedly negligent surveyor/valuer. The claim was struck out.

 

Ø      X v A (Unreported - Court of Appeal, June 2002) – Represented the defendant sellers at trial and then as junior counsel on appeal in a case that concerned a claim by commercial agents for payment of a commission relating to an approximate £9m share disposal. This case involved important issues such as whether the agents were entitled to commission even though they had not introduced the purchaser.

 

Ø      McMEEKIN v LONG [2003] 29 EG 120 (Astill J) – Represented the claimant buyers of residential property in what remains the leading case concerning misrepresentations allegedly made by a seller to the buyer in a Sellers Property Information Form (SPIF). The claimant buyers successfully sued the defendant sellers for making fraudulent misrepresentations to them both in conversation and in a SPIF. This case emphasises the significance of the SPIF to the modern conveyancing process. It is also potentially relevant to the proposed Home Information Pack (HIP). Andrew has subsequently dealt with numerous cases (for claimants and defendants) involving alleged misrepresentations and/or non-disclosure by sellers of property to buyers.

 

Ø      X v A & Others (Unreported – High Court Chancery Division, 2003) – Advised and represented the claimant clothing company in a commercial case concerning breach of confidentiality, breach of copyright, breach design right, breach of database right, passing off and conversion. Appeared for the claimant at the emergency hearing of its application for a search and seizure (Anton Piller) order that when executed produced a wealth of material to support the claimant’s case. Settlement reached soon afterwards, on confidential terms favourable to the claimant.

 

Ø      X & Y v A & B (Unreported – Court of Appeal, 2004) – Advised and represented the first defendant tug hirer as junior counsel in an appeal that concerned the indemnity provisions in BIMCO “Towcon” standard form contract for international towage. The appeal failed but left open issues such as whether the sub-hirer was entitled to rely on terms contained in the main hire contract. The case subsequently settled on confidential terms.

 

Ø      X & Y v A & Others (Unreported – High Court Chancery Division, 1999-2006) – Advised and represented the claimants / petitioners in linked proceedings. The background facts were quite complicated. They essentially concerned the acquisition and development of commercial properties. There were multiple disputes concerning the shareholding in one company, claims that property was held on constructive trust, a claim by petition seeking relief under s.459 of the Companies Act 1985 and claims seeking damages for fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of shareholders’ agreement. Knowledge and experience in company and property work was essential. There were numerous interim hearings, including hearings of applications for injunction orders, specific disclosure orders, orders striking out parts of claims and defences. The lengthy procedural skirmishes finally dispensed with, the cases were set down for a 15 day trial in early 2006. In late 2005 represented the claimants / petitioners at a mediation meeting which resulted in a settlement being reached on confidential terms that secured for them an important benefit they could not have secured from the court.

 

Ø      X v A (Unreported – High Court Family Division Principal Registry, 2006) – Advised and represented the applicant wife in a high value ancillary relief case in which the husband was a well known celebrity. The case was complicated by the husband having numerous properties and numerous different companies and other business ventures in the UK and overseas. Knowledge and experience in business and property as well as family finance was essential – especially to show that the husband was concealing substantial assets and not . Represented the wife at a whole day first appointment and then in lengthy negotiations. Structured settlement ultimately reached on confidential terms that included substantial staged lump sum payments backed by charges and other securities.

 

Ø      X & Others v A & B (Unreported – Southampton County Court, 2005-2006) – Advised and represented the claimant owners of various properties who claimed injunction orders, declarations and damages in a case concerning rights of way over and obligations to maintain and repair a shared driveway. Represented them at a mediation meeting that unfortunately did not lead to settlement and then at a 11 day trial – the claimants ultimately securing, either by concession or by court order nearly all of the remedies and relief they had sought as well as an order for costs against the defendants.

 

Ø      X v A (Unreported – Southampton County Court, 2005-2006) – Advised and represented the defendant Part 20 claimant Independent Financial Adviser who had been sued for alleged loans and claw-backs of commission and had counterclaimed seeking substantial damages for breach of contract, conversion, wrongful interference with business and interference with business by wrongful means. Represented him at numerous interim hearings, including hearings of applications for delivery up orders, specific disclosure orders, orders for information and documentation to be provided, orders striking out parts of the claim and ultimately orders striking out the whole claim and seeking summary judgment. Represented him at a mediation meeting that did not lead to settlement but ultimately (in the face of his application for strike out/summary judgment) a settlement was reached on confidential terms very favourable to him.

 

Ø      X v A & Others (Unreported – High Court Chancery, 2005-2007) – Advised and represented the claimant / petitioner shareholder and the company in linked proceedings. The main claim was against a co-shareholder and company secretary for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of duty of fidelity and conversion, essentially because it was alleged he had diverted business and business opportunities to another company. An additional claim was made against that other company. The co-shareholder and company secretary in separate proceedings claimed sums allegedly due to him under a shareholders’ agreement. An emergency hearing took place at which various orders, including delivery up orders were sought and at the last minute delivery up of documents belonging to the company took place. In late 2006 represented the claimant / petitioner at a mediation meeting which resulted in a settlement being reached on confidential terms.

 

Ø      X v A & Others (Unreported, Bristol Mercantile Court, 2003 to date and continuing) – Advised and represented the claimant in a fairly “heavy” property case involving allegations of misrepresentation about the adequacy of flood prevention works and breaches of the Defective Premises Act. Appeared for the claimant at the 8 day trial on liability in December 2005, February 2006 and August 2006; and (after judgment was given in favour of the claimant on liability with damages to be assessed) at a 2 day assessment hearing; and hearing in November 2006 of the claimant’s application for orders under s.51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 that the two directors of the company pay costs personally – an application that was successful. An appeal hearing is currently due to take place before the Court of Appeal later this year.

 

 

Travel: Although based in Portsmouth on the South Coast, as his work is specialised, Andrew travels widely to undertake his work. For example, he has conducted conferences and appeared at court hearings or mediation meetings in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Exeter, Leeds, London, Maidstone, Manchester, Oxford, Preston and Stoke-on-Trent. 

 

The fact that a case involves parties, Solicitors and/or other representatives who are nowhere near Portsmouth or the South Coast is therefore not a problem.

 

 

Fees: Fees vary according the value of the dispute and/or how complicated it is. Hourly rates of charge generally vary from £150 to £250 per hour, although special fee rates may apply in respect of cases were substantial work is required. All fees are subject to negotiation with Senior Clerk & Executive Manager, Jackie Morrison. By prior arrangement, work may be sent without obligation for consideration by Andrew and if no fee can be agreed will be returned without charge. Fees as an arbitrator or mediator also vary, but as a rough guide are approximately £1,500 per day.

 

Some examples are as follows:

 

 

Item

 

Fee

Telephone advice in a case valued at £10,000 requiring 30 minutes preparation and 30 minutes on the phone

 

£150.00

 

Written advice in a case valued at £100,000 requiring 2 hours  preparation and 4 hours to write the advice

 

 

£600

Attending a Court hearing in a case valued at £500,000 requiring 10 hours preparation and 8 hours at Court

 

 

£3,600

 

These fees add UK Value Added Tax “VAT” at the current rate of 17.5%. 

 

As a general rule, Andrew’s fees need to be paid in advance, or at least money paid on account of his fees to the instructing solicitor.

 

As a matter of principle, Andrew does not undertake any work on a conditional fee agreement (CFA) basis. He works completely free-lance and independently, trying to give objective advice and other services.

 

Jackie Morrison: Jackie is an experienced senior barrister’s clerk who has worked closely with Andrew for over 15 years. She manages his practice as a barrister, mediator and arbitrator, as his Senior Clerk and Executive Manager. Prior to becoming a barrister’s clerk she worked as the practice manager for a large firm of solicitors with many offices on the South Coast. She therefore has first-hand knowledge of what an instructing solicitor needs.

 

 

Service commitment: We will do our best to provide a fast, friendly and efficient service.

 

 

How can Andrew Parsons help?

 

Andrew may be able to help you in various ways:

 

1) As a barrister:

 

Ø      Drafting or reviewing documents

 

Ø      Giving advice, either on the telephone, in a meeting or in writing

 

Ø      Appearing as an advocate in Court, arbitration, mediation or other ADR process

 

Andrew likes to become involved in a case at the earliest possible stage, long before the dispute escalates to expensive litigation.

 

A particular specialist area of his drafting work is preparing standard terms and conditions of contract, pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and separation agreements.

 

A particular specialist area of his advocacy work is appearing at emergency hearings where time is of the essence, for example emergency injunction hearings, and appearing for parties at mediation meetings, where he is able to use his experience as a mediator to good effect.

 

In some cases it may be possible to instruct him direct without instructing a Solicitor, because he is qualified under the Public Access scheme. Generally speaking however, as most of the cases he deals with are fairly complicated and the sums in dispute and/or issues in dispute are important for the parties, he prefers to act on instructions from a Solicitor or other professional person suitably qualified for the particular case, such as an Accountant, Architect or Surveyor.

 

 

2) As a Mediator:

 

Ø      Administering the Mediation

 

Ø      Conducting a Mediation Meeting with the parties and their representatives in a confidential setting, helping them try to settle their dispute

 

Ø      Assisting in preparing the terms of a settlement agreement

 

Ø      Saving the parties the expense, stress and upset of litigation

 

 

Andrew is an experienced mediator. He was one of the first barristers to become qualified as a commercial mediator nearly 10 years ago. He is a founder member (and now chairman) of a multi-disciplinary mediation service provider – Solent Mediation.

 

3) As an Arbitrator:

 

Ø      Administering the Arbitration

 

Ø      Considering the competing cases of the parties and if appropriate conducting an Arbitration Hearing with the parties and their representatives in a confidential setting

 

Ø      Making a decision (issuing an Award) that decides the dispute

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF SERVICES

 

► BARRISTER SERVICES ◄

Expert advice, drafting and advocacy representing parties in Court, at a tribunal, in Mediation, or in other dispute resolution processes

 

► MEDIATION SERVICES ◄

Expert help as a Mediator appointed by the parties to help them try to settle their dispute 

 

► ARBITRATION SERVICES ◄

Expert help as an Arbitrator appointed by the parties to make a decision about their dispute

 

 

 

PICTURES

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Parsons

 

 

Jackie Morrison